Brilliant day for the Boys in Blue
Monterosso proved what a class act he is as Mickael Barzalona rode the five-year-old to World Cup glory at Meydan.
It was a great ride from the colt, who led home Capponi for a memorable Godolphin one-two – a fitting end to a thrilling night of top-class racing as the world’s richest race once again made for compelling viewing.
Capponi, starting in stall 11, led for the majority of the sprint but Monterosso, who began in stall 8, showed real staying power in the home straight to pass his stablemate and take the glory in the $10 million showpiece.
And HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and founder and owner of Godolphin, was overjoyed with his first winner of the prestigious race since 2006.
“It’s great, we had a chance like everybody else. I am very happy,” a delighted Sheikh Mohammed said of the Boys in Blue’s sixth Dubai World Cup win. “[Mickael Barzalona] gave him a great ride. I am so happy.”
Earlier, African Story had got the night off to a good start for Dubai-based racing operation as Frankie Dettori rode the home hope to an easy win in the Godolphin Mile. In the first race of the night for the thoroughbred, Dettori tracked the pace set by Red Jazz while racing along the inside. The very experienced Italian eased him off the rail and in no time he was gone, clear of the chasing pack opening up with every stride.
And for the famous jockey it merely confirmed what he thought before the race had even started.
“It was my banker of my night and it was very easy,” Dettori said. However, joy for Godolphin turned to sorrow as the stable’s Fox Hunt broke a leg and fell early on in the Dubai Gold Cup and had to be put down. Jockey Silvestre de Sousa emerged unscathed, but the race was stopped as the runners went down the back straight with Fox Hunt still lying stricken.
The contest was declared void but, after discussions with trainers, track officials announced it would be re-run as the last race, Dettori riding Godolphin’s Opinion Poll to an emotional win.
Meanwhile, Craig Williams admitted he had his work cut out riding Ortensia to glory in the $1m Al Quoz Sprint.
The Australian filly edged Sole Power and favourite Joy And Fun to take the honours. The Herman Brown-trained August Rush briefly grabbed the lead before Ortensia surged in front, the
six-year-old filly winning by 1¼ lengths. Jockey Craig Williams said: “It wasn’t easy but I was happy with the position that I got. She wasn’t good enough for Hong Kong but she’s improved.”
But, as if that classic race wasn’t enough, Cityscape then blew away its rivals in the $5m Dubai Duty Free. The Roger Charlton-trained six-year-old sprinted well clear to win the 1,800-metre race in 1 minute, 48.65 seconds, beating the previous course record of 1:48.74. That brilliant display left jockey James Doyle elated, him saying: “It’s his first time over a furlong further but he’s got a turn of foot and he stays well so I’m not surprised. It’s without doubt the biggest day of my life.”
>> DUBAI WORLD CUP – RESULT
1. Monterosso (Mickael Barzalona)
2. Capponi (Ahmed Ajtebi)
3. Planteur (Ryan Moore)